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New York Times Bestsellers
Week of November 17, 2019
FICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 2)  
Blue Moon
Book Jacket   Lee Child
#2  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 4)  
The Guardians
Book Jacket   John Grisham
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385544184 This just in: a new legal thriller is coming in October from the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author. No word on plot, but eminently purchasable.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780385544184 Cullen Post works for the Guardian Ministries, a shoestring operation that tries to get wrongfully convicted people out of jail. At the top of Post's to-do list is a Black man, Quincy Miller, who has been in prison for 22 years after being convicted of the murder of his divorce lawyer. But the evidence is shaky at best: the shotgun used in the crime was never found, and a flashlight with a supposed blood spatter disappeared from evidence. Further bolstering Post's case, an expert who testified for the prosecution about the blood spatter on the missing flashlight has since been discredited as a charlatan. Post thinks Miller may have been the fall guy for a drug-cartel hit. The murdered lawyer took minor civil cases to keep up appearances, but his primary moneymaker was the drug cartel. If the cartel can keep the murder pinned on Miller, it's in the clear. Grisham novels have a cinematic feel to them. A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), and The Rainmaker (1995) have all been successful motion pictures. The Guardians could be next on the list; it's an excellent legal thriller with a strong social-justice component.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Grisham's readers are legion, and they will be prepped for his latest, which finds the perennial chart-topper in great form.--Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2019 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780385544184 A lack of nuance mars this novel from bestseller Grisham (The Reckoning), which centers on idealistic attorneys fighting wrongful convictions. Cullen Post, who became a Lutheran minister after burning out as a public defender, is working as a lawyer again in Savannah, Ga., where he runs Guardian Ministries, which helps convicts whose claims of innocence he and his three colleagues, including a man he helped free from incarceration, deem worth investigating. In the first chapter, Duke Russell is minutes away from execution when Post’s request for a stay is granted, giving him time to pursue his belief that Duke wasn’t in fact guilty of raping and murdering a woman 11 years earlier. Guardian Ministries is also seeking to prove that Quincy Miller is innocent of the shotgun murder of his former attorney, Keith Russo, in Seabrook, Fla., and deserves his freedom. Post and his allies diligently attack the flimsy forensic and eyewitness evidence used to convict Miller. A conspiracy subplot related to one of Post’s cases, involving especially sadistic bad guys and an international angle, feels out of place. Readers who like their legal thrillers dosed with ethical ambiguities should look elsewhere. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Oct.)
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#3  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Starless Sea
 Erin Morgenstern
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#4  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 62)  
Where The Crawdads Sing
 Delia Owens
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780735219090 Owens' (Secrets of the Savanna, 2006) first novel is a leisurely, lyrical tale of a young woman growing up in isolation in the 1950s and 60s, in a marsh on the North Carolina coast. Kya is abandoned by her troubled mother when she is only six. Soon after, her four, much-older siblings leave, as does her alcoholic father a couple of years later. As Kya matures and teaches herself to be a naturalist, she is torn between two slightly older boys: kind, observant Tate and rascally, attractive Chase. Chase dies falling from a fire tower in his twenties, and the investigation of his possible murder, which alternates with the story of Kya's coming-of-age, provides much of the novel's suspense. Because the characters are painted in broad, unambiguous strokes, this is not so much a naturalistic novel as a mythic one, with its appeal rising from Kya's deep connection to the place where she makes her home, and to all of its creatures.--Margaret Quamme Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780735219090 In Owens's evocative debut, Kya Clark is a young woman growing up practically on her own in the wild marshes outside Barkley Cove, a small coastal community in North Carolina. In 1969, local lothario Chase Andrews is found dead, and Kya, now 23 and known as the "Marsh Girl," is suspected of his murder. As the local sheriff and his deputy gather evidence against her, the narrative flashes back to 1952 to tell Kya's story. Abandoned at a young age by her mother, she is left in the care of her hard-drinking father. Unable to fit in at school, Kya grows up ignorant until a shrimper's son, Tate Walker, befriends her and teaches her how to read. After Tate goes off to college, Kya meets Chase, with whom she begins a tempestuous relationship. The novel culminates in a long trial, with Kya's fate hanging in the balance. Kya makes for an unforgettable heroine. Owens memorably depicts the small-town drama and courtroom theatrics, but perhaps best of all is her vivid portrayal of the singular North Carolina setting. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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#5  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 3)  
The Night Fire
Book Jacket   Michael Connelly
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316485616 The sins of the past cast a long shadow in bestseller Connelly’s superlative second novel featuring detectives Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch together (after 2018’s Dark Sacred Night). After the funeral of former LAPD Det. John Jack Thompson, the man’s widow gives Bosch a murder book that Thompson took when he left the force a couple of decades before. The cold case concerns the unsolved homicide of 24-year-old John Hilton, an addict who was killed in an alley in 1990. What’s unclear is why Bosch’s old mentor stole the murder book—to work the case himself in retirement, or to keep other detectives from working it? Bosch takes the book to Ballard, a kindred spirit; both are outliers with a shared fire for fighting injustice no matter where the trail leads. Meanwhile, defense attorney Mickey Haller enlists Bosch, his half-brother, to assist in defending a mentally ill man accused of murdering a superior court judge. Conflicting DNA evidence and a problematic confession complicate the high profile case. Connelly is without peer when it comes to police procedurals, and once again proves that he’s the modern master of the form. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Oct.)
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316485616 Thanks to Connelly's remarkable narrative legerdemain, Harry Bosch has enjoyed multiple incarnations as a crime-series hero: in and out of the LAPD as well as sharing top billing with leads from other Connelly series. In his latest reinvention (unveiled in Dark Sacred Night, 2018), the retired Harry is working cold cases on his own, partnering off the books with Renée Ballard, who continues her regular LAPD gig as a detective on the night shift (The Late Show, 2017). This time Harry is given a double-edged gift from the widow of his former mentor, John Jack Thompson. Apparently, Thompson, also never one to let an unsolved case lie fallow, absconded with a ""murder book"" (case file) when he retired. Was he still working on this seemingly ordinary murder of a drug addict? If so, why? As Harry and Renée start digging, another possibility emerges: Did John Jack steal the murder book because he didn't want the case solved? Meanwhile, it looks as if Renée's current late-show case may have a surprising connection to the addict's long-ago murder. Not only has Connelly created another fully formed series lead in Renée, who has her own fascinating backstory, but he has also forged a fascinating yin-and-yang relationship between the old-school Harry and the unconventional loner Renèe, who prefers sleeping on the beach with her dog. Uniting this duo, who work totally as equals, is a shared commitment to doing the job right and following Bosch's credo, ""everybody matters or nobody matters."" Master chef Connelly has once again combined familiar ingredients into a new and completely satisfying dish.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly is on a roll, with three consecutive number-one New York Times best-sellers. Don't bet against number four.--Bill Ott Copyright 2010 Booklist
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#6  (Last Week: 7 • Weeks on List: 5)  
The Giver Of Stars
Book Jacket   Jojo Moyes
 
#7  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
The Family Upstairs
 Lisa Jewell
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781501190100 Twenty-five years before the present-day action of this un-put-downable psychological thriller from bestseller Jewell (Watching You), the bodies of Henry and Martina Lamb and an unknown man were found in the Lambs’ mansion in London’s exclusive Chelsea district. How did they die, and where were the Lambs’ children? Three entwined stories provide some answers. Homeless Lucy, a busking violinist, is sitting on a French beach with her son when she receives a message on her phone: “The baby is 25.” Lucy’s account of her voyage to London merges with that of Libby Jones. Libby, adopted when she was around a year old, is working for a kitchen design company in St. Albans when she receives the news that she has inherited the Lambs’ family home. Henry, the Lambs’ son, describes his childhood and the terrifying events that changed all their lives when the charismatic charlatan David Thomsen came to stay. Investigating her past, Libby gets much more than she bargained for. Distinct, well-developed characters, shifting points of view, and a disturbing narrative that pulses with life create an enthralling tale full of surprises. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Nov.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781501190100 Jewell's tenth novel (after Watching You) starts with Libby, who just turned 25, inheriting a London townhouse worth millions from her biological parents. She was told that her parents died in a car crash, but that was a lie to shield her. In fact, she was discovered as a baby in the townhouse, well cared for but with the decaying bodies of her parents and an unknown man. The police report says that all three adults died in a suicide pact. But did they? Neighbors, although rarely seeing anyone, thought several children and adults were living there. Where are they? And where is Libby's older brother and sister? Libby can't rest until she discovers what happened to her and her family all those years ago. VERDICT Readers won't be able to put this novel down. Just when they think they have figured it all out, the story twists and turns right up to the last chilling line. Highly recommended for fans of authors such as Gillian Flynn and V.C. Andrews. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]—Susan Moritz, Silver Spring, MD
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781501190100 Libby receives a surprise inheritance on her twenty-fifth birthday: she's been left a mansion in London's Chelsea neighborhood, the house where she was abandoned as a baby. It was a huge scandal at the time, as she was clean and cared for, but her parents were long dead in the kitchen, having entered into a suicide pact. All of this had been hidden from Libby until now, and she's determined to find out the truth behind her family's history. Meanwhile, in France, Lucy travels from hostel to hostel with her two children in tow, barely getting by as a street musician, when she gets a mysterious text that drives her to extremes in order to get back to London. Her connection to the Chelsea house (and therefore Libby) is at the heart of Jewell's latest thriller. The suspense mounts, moving from Libby to Lucy in the present as well as in mesmerizing flashbacks. No one is quite whom they seem to be, and everyone is willing to do whatever is needed in order to get what they want. Another dark winner from Jewell, who expertly teases out her tricky tale with stunning moments and richly drawn characters.--Rebecca Vnuk Copyright 2010 Booklist
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#8  (Last Week: 8 • Weeks on List: 9)  
The Institute
 Stephen King
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#9  (Last Week: 6 • Weeks on List: 7)  
The Dutch House
Book Jacket   Ann Patchett
#10  (Last Week: 15 • Weeks on List: 4)  
Olive, Again
Book Jacket   Elizabeth Strout
 


NONFICTION
#1  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Triggered
 Donald Trump Jr
  Book Jacket
#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Finding Chika
 Mitch Albom
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062952394 Albom’s powerful second memoir (after Tuesdays with Morrie) is a tribute to Chika, an orphaned Haitian girl whom Albom and his wife, Janine, cared for from age five to age seven, when she died from a brain tumor. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Albom took over the management of an orphanage there. In 2013, fun-loving Chika became a resident and, two years later, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. Doctors in Haiti didn’t have the means to treat Chika, so Albom and his wife—who never had kids—brought her home to Michigan to help save her. Albom conveys the heartbreak of watching her suffer (Chika endured surgeries, and lost teeth and hair), while capturing Chika’s sweet spirit and youthful resilience. He speaks candidly about being too career-focused and putting off having kids until it was too late, and shares how Chika allowed him and his wife to experience the glory of parenthood decades into their marriage. Albom addresses Chika directly: “You never have to worry about us forgetting you... we’d lose every memory we ever had before we would let go of yours.” Both painfully sad and beautiful, this is an absolute tearjerker. (Nov.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062952394 Born into poverty three days before Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, Chika Jeune ended up at the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage, run by the multi-million-copy best-selling Albom, after her mother died giving birth to her baby brother. When she was diagnosed with a serious illness that could not be treated in Haiti, Albom and his wife brought her to their home in America and spent two years searching for a cure. Albom's first nonfiction in more than a decade; with a 500,000-copy first printing.
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#3  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Sam Houston And The Alamo Avengers
Book Jacket   Brian Kilmeade
#4  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Acid For The Children
Book Jacket   Flea
 
#5  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 4)  
Me
 Elton John
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#6  (Last Week: 6 • Weeks on List: 9)  
Talking To Strangers
 Malcolm Gladwell
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#7  (Last Week: 11 • Weeks on List: 6)  
The Book Of Gutsy Women
Book Jacket   Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
#8  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 6)  
Blowout
Book Jacket   Rachel Maddow
 
#9  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 2)  
The Beautiful Ones
 Prince
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#10  (Last Week: 9 • Weeks on List: 90)  
Educated
 Tara Westover
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399590504 Raised on a secluded family compound in Idaho, Westover was seven before realizing the biggest difference between her family and others was not their remote home, or their Mormon religion-but that "we don't go to school." Westover helped the family maintain a minimalist existence through construction, scrapping, and midwifery, no matter how many injuries she sustained. But when the author's wounds go untreated, leaving her mother mentally compromised and herself an object of abuse, cracks in her upbringing began to appear. Westover's brother Tyler is the first to leave home for college, later encouraging her to do the same. "There's a world out there, Tara...it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear." Starting her academic career at Brigham Young University, Westover continued to earn academic achievements, including a PhD in history from Cambridge University. VERDICT Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but for a student who started from a point of near illiteracy, Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style. With no real comparison memoir, this joins the small number of Mormon exposés of recent years. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.-Ed.]-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399590504 To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399590504 A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover's mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene's scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author's bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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